31.10.2008 07:22 - The Fun of Long-Distance Air Travel
..or not, as the case may be.
This last September, I had to spend no less than twenty hours of my life airborne in the cramped conditions of "tourist" class. Amazing stuff, really. I had thought it bad enough being stuck in a high-altitude padded cattle-wagon for trips back home, but the inconvenience was only minor compared with the tedium experienced in flying halfway round the world. Add to this the added inconvenience of having your belongings and body poked and prodded, and examined for dangerous weapons - to the point of checking your toothbrush bristles to see if they're too hard - and you begin to see why modern airflight, rather than being the exciting proposition it was in my childhood, has been reduced to just another miserable experience.
But what really pissed me off was the constipation. After a two-way stretch on international airlines, it was as though someone had injected quick-setting concrete into my colon - which was puzzling, as I was generally avoiding American breakfast stodge and going for fruit.
Then I realised.
If you're on a ten-hour flight with three hundred passengers and only three toilets, you're going to make damn sure you're going to feed them stuff that blocks them up well and truly. It's either that or it's brown hailstone time.
Before you say it, I know they fly over the Atlantic. I also know that the flightpath curves across the UK, over Iceland and Greenland, then down the Canadian coast into American airspace, keeping above land as much as possible.
And I imagine recent events have left the residents in Iceland up to their necks in the shit as it is, without adding the high-altitude freeze-dried variety.